Mitt Romney stuns observers with proposal to give every American adult $1000 during coronavirus outbreak
Former Govenor Mitt Romney speaking with supporters of U.S. Congresswoman Martha McSally at a campaign rally at The Falls Event Center in Gilbert, Arizona. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

Well aware of the financial pain that the coronavirus pandemic is indicting on a variety of businesses and their employees, a prominent GOP conservative — Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah — has proposed a payment of $1,000 to help Americans cope with the economic hardship.


The 2012 Republican presidential nominee asserted, “Every American adult should immediately receive $1000 to help ensure families and workers can meet their short-term obligations and increase spending in the economy.”

This is the same Mitt Romney who, in 2012, was widely criticized after being heard telling millionaires donors that 47% of Americans would vote to reelect President Barack Obama because they rely on handouts from the government. And eight years later, Romney’s $1,000 proposal comes as a surprise to those familiar with his history.

Dan Hirschhorn tweeted, “We are all Andrew Yang” — a reference to the former Democratic presidential candidate and tech entrepreneur’s call for a guaranteed minimum income. And @EEstaris posted, “So basically instead of just Socialism for the 1% and farmers, give the money to the vast majority of consumers, who can help keep the economy going by consuming. Yeah, probably not a bad idea right now.”

Twitter user Alicia Goulson, @Asgoulson wrote, “This will calm the market.” And @KerouacRimbaud tweeted, “From what I know about Yang, he’s just happy to see a senator take it seriously.”

But Josh Barro, business columnist for New York Magazine, tweeted that some people were misinterpreting Romney’s proposal: he was calling for a one-time payment of $1000, not a recurring payment of $1000 per month.

Journalist Jim Geraghty, @Jimgeraghty, tweeted, “From the Yang Gang to the Romney Coterie.” However, fellow Twitter user Aaron King, @AAKing27, drew a distinction between Romney and Yang’s proposals and wrote, “But yet, it’s not the Yang Gang. People conflating UBI with temporary income to avoid a global depression.” And @BatDaddyOfThree explained, “I keep seeing this comparison being made, but Yang’s proposal was in perpetuity. This is Bush 43’s economic stimulus handout redux.”